Jose Mourinho reveals the reason why Chelsea sold De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah

4 min read
Jose Mourinho reveals the reason why Chelsea sold De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah

Jose Mourinho, the Special One, a name synonymous with footballing success and a certain managerial bravado, is also well-known for his decisive transfer decisions. Two names that cast long shadows in Mourinho’s Chelsea past are Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne, talented young prospects who departed Stamford Bridge before truly blossoming into the world-class stars they are today. Now, years later, Mourinho has offered his own perspective on their exits, sparking renewed debate and offering a window into the mind of one of football’s most fascinating figures.

From Cobham to Beyond: De Bruyne’s Dortmund Detour

Kevin De Bruyne’s Chelsea journey was brief yet intriguing. Signed as a promising teenager, he struggled to break into the first team under Mourinho, spending most of his time on loan. In 2014, he was sold to Wolfsburg, then a rising force in German football. Mourinho’s explanation for the decision is clear: “He was one of the players that I let go because he was too young. In that moment, Chelsea had Mata, Oscar, Willian, Hazard, so to play in that midfield was very difficult for him.”

Was it simply a matter of competition? Did De Bruyne, then raw and unpolished, simply not fit Mourinho’s tactical vision? Or was there more to it? Mourinho’s acknowledgement of De Bruyne’s undeniable talent – “He was a good kid, a fantastic player” – suggests a mix of pragmatism and perhaps a touch of miscalculation. Only time would tell if Chelsea had truly missed out on a future legend.

Egypt’s Pharaoh: Salah’s Roman Interlude

The story of Mohamed Salah at Chelsea is equally tinged with the bittersweet. Arriving from Basel in 2014, he, like De Bruyne, found first-team opportunities limited under Mourinho. Loan spells at Fiorentina and Roma followed, with the latter proving a catalyst for his potential. Mourinho admits, “When he came back from Italy, he was a different player.” Yet, despite recognizing his improvement, Salah was unexpectedly sold back to Roma in 2016.

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Again, Mourinho offers justifications: “We had too many attacking players. We had Willian, Hazard, Pedro, Mata…” He also cites Salah’s struggles to adapt to his preferred tactical approach. However, the lingering question remains: could Mourinho have foreseen Salah’s meteoric rise at Liverpool, and could Chelsea have reaped the rewards of his incredible journey?

Hindsight in the Rearview Mirror: Lessons Learned?

Looking back, it’s easy to say “what if” about both De Bruyne and Salah. They have become superstars, players who could have rewritten Chelsea’s recent history. However, judging Mourinho solely on hindsight ignores the complexities of managing a high-pressure club, the need to make tough decisions amidst a crowded squad, and the inherent uncertainties of player development.

Furthermore, Mourinho’s approach has always prioritized immediate success and tactical coherence. While De Bruyne and Salah needed time and a different environment to flourish, Mourinho’s teams thrive on established stars and well-defined roles. In that context, his decisions, though seemingly harsh at the time, can be viewed as pragmatic choices aligned with his winning philosophy.

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🗣️’They were just kids who couldn’t wait!’ 😳 Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reveals the reason he let both Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah leave Stamford Bridge! ⚽️ #chelsea #mancity #liverpool #salah #kdb #fyp

♬ original sound – Daily Mail Sport

Beyond the Blame Game: A Legacy of Development

It’s also important to recognize that Chelsea, under Mourinho’s leadership, invested heavily in youth development. Players like Mason Mount, Reece James, and Tammy Abraham are testament to the club’s commitment to nurturing young talent. De Bruyne and Salah’s departures, while unfortunate, can be seen as part of a learning process, a reminder that not every gem unearthed will shine under every cutter.

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The Mourinho Mould: Enduring Influence and Unanswered Questions

Jose Mourinho’s legacy at Chelsea is multifaceted. He brought trophies, instilled fear in opponents, and shaped the club’s identity. But he also made decisions that, with the benefit of hindsight, appear questionable. The De Bruyne and Salah sagas serve as poignant examples of this duality. They remind us of the unpredictability of player development, the challenges of managing a star-studded squad, and the enduring influence of Mourinho’s unique brand of football.

Ultimately, the stories of De Bruyne and Salah at Chelsea are chapters in a larger narrative, one that celebrates the club’s history of unearthing and nurturing talent. While their departures may sting, they should also serve as a reminder that the pursuit of excellence is an ongoing process, filled with triumphs and regrets, lessons learned and pathways redefined. As for Mourinho, his place in Chelsea’s lore remains secure, his shadow forever looming over the club’s transfer decisions, casting a mix of admiration and curiosity at every turn.

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